Change of guard at Indian Journalists’ Association in UK

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Published: June 16, 2019 5:02:15 PM

The Indian Journalists' Association (IJA) in the UK has elected a new president and executive committee as part of a change of guard at the 72-year-old organisation representing UK-based journalists covering Indian affairs.

Senior BBC News journalist Naresh Kaushik took charge as the IJA president after a long-overdue annual general meeting of the membership organisation in London on Friday.

The Indian Journalists’ Association (IJA) in the UK has elected a new president and executive committee as part of a change of guard at the 72-year-old organisation representing UK-based journalists covering Indian affairs. Senior BBC News journalist Naresh Kaushik took charge as the IJA president after a long-overdue annual general meeting of the membership organisation in London on Friday.

“The association is meant for members and, if you all agree, we could focus on being there for the welfare of journalists more than raising funds and would attempt to revive the IJA to its past glory,” said Kaushik, who will be supported by a team of journalists representing Indian organisations as well as UK-based publications focussed on South Asian affairs.

Kaushik replaced Ashis Ray, who had triggered controversy earlier this year by hosting a press conference of a US-based person making unsubstantiated allegations against the reliability of India’s electronic voting machines (EVMs).

“To our astonishment, it turned out to be a press conference via Skype by a masked man, with nothing to back up his claims,” read an open letter issued by a majority of the IJA membership in the wake of the controversial event in January.

“With Brexit and the forthcoming election in India there are many important debates to be had and issues to be investigated, but providing a platform for such serious and unsubstantiated claims merely sullies the discourse and adds to divisions,” it noted.

The newly-elected leadership of the IJA, which was set up in May 1947 as a representative body for UK-based correspondents and journalists reporting on and covering India, also plans to oversee important changes to incorporate the use of technology in line with the needs of a 21st century journalist body.

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